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Full text of "A history of Persia"

LV

THE MONGOL CATACLYSM          149
the son of the Naiman chief, who escaped after the defeat
of his father, suffered great privations and led a wander-
ing life, but finally reached the court of the Gur Khan.
He was treated most kindly and given a daughter of the
monarch in marriage, and upon this occasion adopted the
Buddhist religion. No sooner had he established his
position and collected his scattered tribesmen than he
entered into a plot with Mohamed Shah of Khwarazm
and with Othman, Prince of Samarcand, to overthrow
his benefactor. Although in the first engagement he
was defeated, the forces of Khwarazm and Samarcand
carried all before them, with the result that in A.H. 608
(1212) the Gur Khan was a prisoner in the hands of
Guchluk. In his stead the traitor ruled in a kingdom
which was restricted to the Tarim basin, with its three
cities of Kashgar, Yarkand, and Khotan. The empire of
Mohamed was extended eastwards • into the heart of
Turkestan, and after he had captured and killed his
erstwhile ally Othman, Samarcand became his capital.
The Mongol Invasion of Turkestan, A.H.. 615 (1218).
—It is beyond the scope of this work to deal with the
three successful campaigns waged by Chengiz against the
Kin dynasty, from whom he seized many of their fairest
provinces ; but it is important to note that it was during
these campaigns that the rude Mongols learned the
necessity for a siege-train, which they afterwards employed
with deadly effect. The Great Conqueror subsequently
crushed the Merkites, a neighbouring tribe, and in A.D.
1218 made his first movement westwards by despatching
an army of twenty thousand men to attack Guchluk.
The latter fled without attempting any defence, but was
overtaken and put to death.
The Outbreak of Hostilities with Khwarazm. — The
relations of Chengiz Khan with the monarch of Khwarazm
were at first friendly. The Mongol chieftain despatched
an embassy to Mohamed with gifts and a message
expressing the hope that the two rulers would live at
peace with one another, and declaring that he would look
upon Mohamed as his most beloved son. The Khivan
monarch, after making enquiries from one of the envoys,